UNO holds off Northwestern State to take sole possession of first place in Southland

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Brian White, Derek St. Hilaire
(Photo: Shane Banegas)

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Privateers continue to let the good times roll as they defeated the Northwestern State Demons 85-77 on Saturday evening at the Lakefront Arena. The Privateers have moved to 3-0 in Southland play and have now won six straight games.

With the win, New Orleans is now alone in first place in the Southland.

MOVING ON UP
Troy Green slotted up to fourth place on the Privateers’ all-time scoring list after he poured in 16 points. Green passed Nate Mills for fourth on the points list and is also three assists behind Mills for sixth on the all-time program list.

GOING OFF
Derek St. Hilaire exploded for 29 points to lead the scoring charge for the Privateers. He also added four assists and went 11-of-20 from the field. The 11 field goals are a season-high for the graduate transfer, surpassing the 10 he had against Northwestern.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Privateers led by as many as 17 points in the first half and controlled the action throughout the first 20 minutes of play. New Orleans shot 56.3 percent from the field and carried a 44-31 lead to the halftime locker room.

Northwestern State cut the Privateers lead in more than half when they started the second half on an 11-3 run. Though Northwestern State threatened on a couple of occasions, they never tied nor took the lead against New Orleans in the second half.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Green finished just shy of a double-double adding nine boards to his 16 points. Simeon Kirkland finished with 11 points while Tyson Jackson added 11 points and eight rebounds. D’Ante Bell posted eight points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

As a team, the Privateers were 22-of-25 from the free throw line. It was the fifth time in the last seven games New Orleans sank 20 or more free throws.

FROM COACH SLESS
“It was a great win for us. I’ve got so much respect for Northwestern State and we knew that we had to be as good as we can be against them. We knew the second half was going to be a battle. It was a good game and we had so many people contribute.”

“Our guards rebounded at a very good level and when you add our core team of forwards, it’s hard to single out anybody. These guys continue to play as one unit and I’m so proud of them. Overall, the team was focused and they knew what was at stake in finishing out this weekend.”

NEXT UP
The Privateers will face HBU in Houston on Jan. 27. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans are encouraged to follow @UNOPrivateers on Twitter, @PrivateersMBB on Instagram, like /PrivateersMBB on Facebook and subscribe to the PrivateerAthletics YouTube channel.

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